Monday, March 6, 2017

Hawaii seeks teachers, lawmakers kill 'Styrofoam' bills, children test positive for lead, Waikiki surfer group opposes groin replacement, compost contract cancellation could cost $4M, Maui movie industry soaring, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy Hawaii Department of Education
Hawaii classroom, courtesy Hawaii Department of Education
Through March and April, the state Department of Education will travel to the Mainland to recruit teachers to the islands for the upcoming school year. Garden Island.

Committee Chairs Halt Bills To Ban Foam Food Containers. The prohibition continues to gain support from Hawaii environmentalists, but is effectively dead this session. Civil Beat.

2 state bills would compel candidates to air tax data. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Legislature is nearing the halfway point of the 2017 session. All bills have to pass out of their original chamber by Thursday. Associated Press.

About 1,800 infants and toddlers in Hawaii have tested positive for high lead levels in their blood in recent years, according to data compiled by the state Department of Health, indicating that lead exposure, which can cause permanent developmental disabilities, continues to be a problem in Hawaii years after the state set a goal of eliminating all cases of lead poisoning and decades after the country recognized it as a major health problem. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii now has some of the most severe penalties in the nation for people who are caught with drug paraphernalia, but House lawmakers are attempting to downgrade those paraphernalia offenses from felonies to civil violations that would result in fines and no prison time. Star-Advertiser.

State To Schools: Customize Your Hawaiian Education Approach. The Na Hopena A’o program encourages new approaches to helping students appreciate the “Hawaiian perspective.” Civil Beat.

Regulation of pregnancy clinics sought. Star-Advertiser.

Two bills taking on sunscreen move forward. Tribune-Herald.

Developers Weigh in On Solving Affordable Housing Crisis. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

A leading surfer group is mobilizing against a plan to replace the failing Royal Hawaiian Groin with a new structure that is about 10 times larger. Star-Advertiser.

A leading surfer group is speaking out against a state plan to replace a crucial groin in Waikiki with a new structure that is about 10 times larger, saying it will change the quality of the waves at the beach. Associated Press.

A state lawmaker says he has been unable get the Department of Land and Natural Resources to explain how $8 million in state funding was spent in support of the World Conservation Congress in Waikiki in September. Star-Advertiser.

Does The Justice Department Really Have A Case Against The Kealohas? Civil Beat.

City officials are seeking input on a new draft of the Oahu General Plan as part of a public review process that began several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

New Honolulu Housing Is For Artists Only. All 84 units at a publicly funded affordable housing complex in Kakaako will be reserved for artists. Civil Beat.

Two major power plants at Oahu's military bases could be in the works, Pacific Business News has learned.

Michaels Development Co., one of the largest private sector affordable housing owners and developers in the United States, is moving ahead on its long-planned affordable housing project in Kapolei in West Oahu, a company executive confirmed to Pacific Business News this week.

Koha Oriental Foods has been fined $100,000 by the state Department of Health for allegedly operating a food storage warehouse in Waipahu without a state permit from November 2015 to August. Star-Advertiser.

Fifteen black-footed albatross chicks have been imported from Midway Atoll to Kahuku to try to establish a breeding colony on Oahu’s North Shore, but any success won’t be evident for years. Star-Advertiser.

Fifteen black-footed albatross chicks have been moved from Midway Atoll to establish a breeding colony on Oahu's north shore. Associated Press.

American Savings Bank recently broke ground on its new headquarters. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii

Hawaiian Earth Recycling isn’t going to let Hawaii County go scot-free after canceling its 10-year compost agreement. In a letter to county officials Wednesday, Senior Vice President John Brigham said the company would seek more than $4 million to cover expenses it incurred under the contract if Mayor Harry Kim’s termination notice isn’t rescinded. Tribune-Herald.

The county has filed a condemnation lawsuit aimed at gaining better public access to Papaikou Mill Beach via the only existing trail to the shoreline, which is on private property. Tribune-Herald.

The Hawaii Island Board of Registration, which considers election disputes, erred when it refused to hear a Kapaau resident’s complaint about a candidate in the 2014 election, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. West Hawaii Today.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which measures and tracks earthquakes, reports 31 earthquakes were recorded over a period of 42 minutes on Sunday. Big Island Video News.

A water restriction notice for North Kona issued in January by the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply is expected to remain in effect indefinitely, an official with the department said. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui County’s film and television industry is surging after raking in $15 million last year — far surpassing previous years — but the high cost of production compared to Oahu continues to be an impediment, according to the Maui County film commissioner. Maui News.

The location for Maui veterans’ long-awaited, one-stop shop for medical and psychological services will be selected in the next few months in a first-in-the-nation leasing arrangement for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Maui News.

Kauai


Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura wants to send a united message to the U.S. Postal Service: Keep the Lihue post office on Rice Street. Garden Island.

The county is adding sand at the north end of the Pono Kai Seawall in Kapaa, but concerns are being raised about the effect on coral reefs in the area. Garden Island.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers is suing one of its founders, Justin Britt, who is also the sole medical marijuana dispensary licensee on Kauai, over allegations he has put the company at risk by misappropriating funds and damaging the company’s reputation. Pacific Business News.

Ahukini Landing has been reopened after a little more than a month and people can now once again walk out onto the pier. Garden Island.

The spotlight is again falling on a bunch of noisy birds that have flocked to Kauai’s South Shore, as Hawaii recently celebrated Invasive Species Awareness Week. Garden Island.

Nearly 1,000 turn out for Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon. Garden Island.